I’ll Drink to That: Winemaker Frederic Lafarge of Domaine Michel Lafarge

Episode 415 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Frederic Lafarge of Domaine Michel Lafarge in Volnay and the new Lafarge-Vial domaine in Fleurie.

On occasion, Burgundy vignerons can tend towards the oblique when answering vinification questions. We have probably all been told more than once that wine is made in the vineyard, or that the wine makes itself. Luckily for listeners, in this interview, Frederic Lafarge is very direct and open about what he does in his cellar. What are the temperature differences between a Pinot Noir ferment and a Gamay ferment? Why does he use stems for one and not the other? How long is a cuvaison, and how does the cuvaison length mirror the heat of a vintage? Frederic has direct answers to all of those questions and more, as well as several answers that focus more squarely on the various crus he works. It is easy to recognize that Frederic, who recently began a new additional project in Fleurie after a lifetime of working in the family cellar in Volnay, has himself been wondering lately about some of these specifics as he approaches a new work environment. But this is not to imply that this discussion consists only of cold facts. Rather, Frederic’s delight in the tastes and smells of the wines comes through in abundance. He describes sampling the still fermenting Gamay with the glee of someone who deeply loves the panoply that wine can provide.

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I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @leviopenswine